Gigaom

GE(s ge) wants to take a technology it developed for electrical lighting and stick it into our mobile phones and networks. It has developed micro-electrical-mechanical systems (MEMS) that GE says can replace the silicon switching elements in devices and mobile infrastructure, allowing them to produce stronger, distortion-free signals. Those amped-up signals would in turn power faster and more resilient mobile connections and reduce the radio’s impact on our phone batteries.

According to GE, future 4G technologies like LTE-Advanced will deliver unprecedented speeds — perhaps even in the multi-gigabit range – but in order to maintain those huge big bandwidth gains phones and networks will need highly efficient, low power radio frequency switches. GE believes its new micro-machinery fits the bill.

A die containing 400 MEMS switches on a U.S. dime (source: GE) A die containing 400 MEMS switches on a U.S. dime (source: GE)

GE wants to resurrect the mechanical relay, a technology that harks back to a time before the transistor

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